I played it safe for my last day of The Great Escape. When I finally reached Brighton I went straight to the library to use the free wi fi. Now the day time line up wasn’t as strong as I originally wanted to see Clare Maguire who unfortunately pulled out. I had planned to see As Animals, Fe and Suvi. Each of the three days VEVO have held a treasure hunt to win golden wristbands to attend daytime sessions and get priority access to The Warren. Also you get lunch thrown in as well. For fun I decided to take part. A series of clues were posted on Twitter and there were only 20 pairs of wristbands. The first clue was An Iconic shop born 20 years ago and along with that was a map. So after a search on the internet I came across a Vintage clothes shop called Dirty Harry which was located in the North Laines well Sydney Street to be precise. Once I had this information it was then a dash to the shop. When there the guy knew nothing about it. I then decided to hang round the area and wait for more clues to come through. Well it turned out I was right as the people who were organising it turned up 10 minutes later. Once I had got the wristband it was then off to The Warren. The daytime sessions weren’t all that. I just stayed for one session which was MNEK. Basically this was just a recording of two songs. Originally I had thought the daytime sessions would be exclusive sets for golden wristband holders. On the other hand the free food was devine.
Come 4pm I then leave The Warren only to go across the road to attend the One Inch Badge/ Rockfeedback RSVP party. I manage to get to the front and playing at 4.30pm was The Physics House Band. The real reason why I was there was to see the one and only Slow Club. With the fact I had no ticket to the Village Underground show made this the next best thing. Now I have been a fan of Slow Club for 6 years. At first it started off as a duo then since the sophomore album Paradise they are now a band. Finally the 3rd album is getting released this coming July. Only 5 songs were showcased from Complete Surrender plus my favourite tune from sophomore album Paradise. Things kicked off with Complete Surrender and this is a complete cracker. Charles Watson was on the keyboard for this one and also provided vocals. Charles and Rebecca’s vocals blended together perfectly and this tune gets me excited over how the rest of the album will turn out like. Complete Surrender is pop through and through which easily gets you moving on the spot. Watson was on the guitar for Tears Of Joy and this was one steady paced slow jam. Now this duet was a smooth soul tinged pop song which was delivered to perfection. Following on was the only oldie of the set and this being Beginners. Rebecca Taylor took to the guitar for this number and sang the majority with Charles Watson providing the harmonising. Beginners is utterly contagious and just like Complete Surrender it gets you moving. This was delivered faultlessly and it was very uptempo. Beginners had been perfectly written and it by far is my favourite Slow Club number. Straight after was a Taylor solo and I have to say this was really hypnotic. Not Mine To Love sent chills up my spine. This soulful tune so needs to be released as a single. I am glad it has made the final cut after another Rebecca Taylor solo Only If You’re Certain does not feature on the Complete Surrender. Whilst this wasn’t contagious this slow pace number easily silences you. Rebecca’s vocals were soulful plus they were mellowing as well. Taylor moved to the drums whilst Avvon Chambers played guitar for Everything Is New. Now this was a Charles Watson solo aided by harmonising by Rebecca. This was soft, gentle and tender. Everything Is New was a quiet song and it was nice that the audience hushed for this. Everything Is New was played at a steady pace and the lyricism was amazing. Wanderer Wandering ended what had been a superb set. Yet again this was mainly sung by Watson who was in front of a keyboard whist Rebecca Taylor still on drums. This was delivered to perfection. Wanderer Wondering was upbeat and super catchy. Once over there was some pleas for them to play one last song. The audience were up for it but unfortunately it didn’t happen.
Tears Of Joy
Not Mine To Love
Everything Is New
Karen Marie Ørsted goes under the alias of MØ. If you are struggling to pronounce it, it’s MØ as in the start of Merger. Karen comes all the way from Denmark and this was her second time playing The Great Escape. Last year she played Digital which Chvrches headlined. This year she played two shows one for VEVO at The Warren and the other being at The East Wing which is literally at the back of The Brighton Centre. So after I left Boutique I then headed for The Warren. Having the gold wristband was handy as I just went straight to the front. It was slightly gutting that Mø were performing heir daytime session and I couldn’t go in as it had already started. Meeting Karen would literally be a dream come true. When it did open I went straight to the front. As they were filming space at the front was tight. What was showcased was material from the début album No Mythologies To Follow and it was Waste Of Time which kick started this 8 track set. Having featured on the Koppaberg advert last year Waste Of Time is by far one of my favourites from No Mythologies. This was indie pop aided by thumping electronic beats which were present in the other songs during this showcase. I really liked the killer chorus and bundles of energy was flowed from this performance. Karen had taken her black fur jacket for the next number and this being Pilgrim which was very upbeat. It easily got me moving and the vocal delivery was simply flawless. I must say Glass was literally incredible. It’s melody was mesmerizing plus you also had thumping beats aided by Ørsted’s flawless vocals. Every ounce of energy was put into this tune.
After it was Slow Love. At first it started off dreary but then the beats came in to give this the extra oomph needed. Slow Love was upbeat and the Karen’s vocals were completely captivating. XXX 88 was literally a full on force you just want to jump up and down to this. Just like Never Wanna Know (which followed on after) this featured on the Bikini Daze EP. Towards the end Karen jumped into the audience and delivered to deliver the final few lines of this fantastic track. Never Wanna Know was a soft gentle power ballad which was simply flawless. Walk This Way was upbeat and uber catchy. Ending the set was Don’t Wanna Dance and what a song to end on. This was a complete cracker and I can picture this being the set closer to every MØ gig. The verses were perfection whilst the killer chorus makes you want to jump up and down. Karen even jumped into the audience again.
All in all this was one phenomenal set. If you like Scandi Pop then you will love MØ. Each number which was showcased was sublime and they easily entrance you. I last saw Karen on The Great Escape last year when she performed before Chvrches. Unfortunately due to clashes I had to miss the XOYO and Cargo shows. Still Ørsted is one hell of a performer and you could sense that she was putting her heart and soul into every tune that was sung. Whilst I strive to meet Karen one day she definitely has my support whenever she is playing in London.
Waste Of Time
Never Wanna Know
Walk This Way
Don’t Wanna Dance
Once Karen had finished her set the venue emptied. I opted to stay because I wanted to check the next artist on the bill. I heard of her prior but never had the chance to witness her live. Unfortunately I had to miss the show at Bush Hall. The artist in question being fellow Brightonian Elli Ingram. What was showcased was a mixture of material from the Sober EP and the recent The Doghouse EP. Ingram is a blonde bombshell and the first two tracks of the set feature on the Sober EP. First it was a dose of soulful pop with High Love and there was even a little sax solo. This had been perfectly written with sexual lyrics which were smoothly delivered. Mad Love was rather funky and was Amy Winehouse esque. After that it was onto a double dose of material from the mini album The Doghouse which has recently been released. “When I was a bit younger I dreamed to be this gangster and kind of dress up a bit like Missy Elliott” Ingram said before diving into Gangsta Blues. This oozed the soulful blues vibe and again the saxaphone was present throughout. I found this to be slightly fierce and upbeat. When It Was Dark was a personal number and out of what had been showcased this had to be my favourite as it easily got you moving. This was soul funk and it worked wonders. Elli’s vocals were out of this world. Penultimate song of the set Poetic Justice was a take on Kendrick Lamar and has already notched over 600k of YouTube views when it was posted January last year. Ingram made this completely her own and transformed this into a soulful RnB track. Things came to a close with All Caught Up which was completely contagious.
Overall my judgement on Elli Ingram is pretty much positive. The material which was showcased was stunningly soulful and I could see similarities with the late Amy Winehouse. Ingram may be only a solo vocalist but she had a band backing her and backing singers. This was simply epic and Elli Ingram is one for the future and I cannot wait for the first full length to be released. If I had to pick a favourite tune from the set I would have to say When It Was Dark.
When It Was Dark
All Caught Up
My final stop of the evening was at The East Wing which was literally a couple of seconds away from The Warren. After Elli had finished I darted to the venue thinking that there may be a queue as the band were set to start. But I got straight in and then I managed to get to the front (I was fortunate because the guy in front decided to leave). The band that were on were called Wet but I was there to see MØ yet again. A total of 9 songs were showcased and this was exactly the same set as the one I witnessed earlier but the order had been mixed up. Kicking things off was XXX 88 which oozed plenty of attitude and it was a terrific opener because this catchy tune was like a full on force which hits you like a ton of bricks. Ørsted removed her fluffy coat for the next number and this being the upbeat Pilgrim. Karen’s vocals were strong and superb. Never Wanna Know was soft and gentle. This love song is the closest Karen will get to a ballad and you know what it was beautifully delivered. Just like The Warren set Ørsted came into the audience and wandered around before coming back onto the stage. “Where is the love we had?” Karen sang. This being Waste Of Time which featured in last years adverts for Koppaberg. I must say that this is my favourite song by hers so far. Waste Of Time was utterly contagious with startling verses and a killer chorus. Plus the beats were rather infectious. At first Slow Love started to be a slow burner then the drumbeats came in giving this tune that extra something. You can quite easily rock out to this. Don’t Wanna Dance was really catchy and you just want to jump up and down. My favourite part of this had to be the chorus. Next it was onto something utterly special and this being MØ’s take on Say You’ll Be There by Spice Girls. This had been released as a 7” especially for Record Store Day. Regarding their take on this classic song are really positive. The vocal delivery was superb and even I was singing along to this contagious tune. Once over there were plenty of cheers which then led to the penultimate number of the evening and this being Walk This Way which was extremely upbeat. Things then ended with the dreamlike Glass and Karen even surfed the crowd.
Karen completely smashed it. She puts her heart and soul each performance which results in something spectacular. Now this was an epic MØ show and judging by what I witnessed I will be seeing her again in the nearby future. My favourite performance of hers was in fact Never Wanna Know which I found to be quite hypnotic.
Now I enjoyed both The Warren and The East Wing sets but if I was to chose a favourite I will pick this one. Purely on the basis it was more of a show (there was even the use of strobe lighting). Even though there was a barrier it didn’t stop Karen from jumping into the pit and singing across the line.
Never Wanna Know
Waste Of Time
Don’t Wanna Dance
Say You’ll Be There
Walk This Way
OVERALL: All in all I enjoyed my 2 days in Brighton. I would of liked to of attended all three days but it wasn’t to be. Maybe that will change next year.
Looking back on it the majority of acts that I witnessed were brand new to me. On my final day of The Great Escape I played it safe seeing acts that I knew of. I am a massive fan of Slow Club, MØ is simply amazing and Elli Ingram is one hell of a singer. It was in fact rather nice to witness MØ twice in the evening. The set which was played oozed plenty of energy and I can tell at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire show she will end up over the barrier. Both of those sets she played were the same but in a different order. Plus at The East Wing you had Say You’ll Be There which was nice. Fire Rides which was meant to open up that set was missed out which was a great shame.
After The East Wing show ended I then made my way to the station on a high over what I had just witnessed.